This is a relatively small, moderately robust species; adult standard length (SL) for 3 males is 35.6-38.5 mm, mean 36.8 ; for 3 females 34.3-39.3, mean 37.5. The head is moderate in width, being broader in males. Males have shorter, blunter snouts than females, in which the snout is somewhat narrow and slightly pointed. SL averages 8.6 (range 8.3-8.8) times head width in 4 males, and 8.7 (8.4-9.0) in 3 females; SL averages 6.0 (5.6-6.4) times head length in 4 males, and 6.6 in 3 females (6.0-7.2). Nostrils are evident and moderately large for the genus. Nasolabial protuberances are prominent in both sexes but especially in males, in which they are swollen, knob-like structures that extend below the somewhat underslung lower jaw. Eyes are of moderate size and stand out from the head, extending laterally beyond the limits of the head. They have a moderate to strongly frontal orientation. The suborbital groove does not intersect the lip. The very small premaxillary teeth (3-4 in number) lie well within the mouth in both sexes, except for USNM 219122, in which there is a single small tooth lying outside of the mouth. This is the only specimen that has a mental gland, a small cluster of openings in a patch of pigment lying just behind the mandibular symphysis. Maxillary teeth are small and moderately numerous, ranging between 7-18 (mean 12.3) in 4 males and 7-15 (mean 11) in 3 females. Vomerine teeth range between 11 and 22 (mean 15.8) in 4 males, and 11-12 (mean 11.7) in 3 females; these very small teeth are borne in a long row. There are 17 (7 individuals)-18 (1 individual) costal grooves between the limbs, counting one each in the axilla and the groin; accordingly we infer that there are 18 (rarely 19) trunk vertebrae. Limbs are of moderate length for this clade; limb interval averages 6.6 (6-7) in 4 males and 6.8 in 3 females (6.5-7). Hands and feet are small, and are moderately broad but short. The digits are syndactylous, and only the triangular tips of the longest central digits are free. Fingers, in order of decreasing length, are 3-2-4-1; toes are 3-2-4-5-1. The tail is round, narrow in cross section and relatively short. Tails of most individuals may be at least partly regenerated or were cut for extraction of DNA prior to measurement. Apparently complete tails exceed SL, and in the individual with the longest tail (one of the smaller males), SL is 0.65 tail length (Garcia-Paris and Wake 2000).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Costa Rica
Etymology. The species is named in honor of Professor Jay Mathers Savage, who has devoted more than 40 years of sustained effort to document the biology of the amphibians and reptiles of Costa Rica, and whose comprehensive volume on this fauna is forthcoming. Dr. Savage’s contributions include not only his superb research productivity and his role in the development and leadership of the Organization for Tropical Studies, but also his education of several generations of professional biologists, of whom the junior author
is one of the earliest in a long list (Garcia-Paris and Wake 2000).
A Spanish-language species account can be found at the website of Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio).
García-París, M., Wake, D. B., and Price, A. H. (2000). ''Molecular phylogenetic analysis of relationships of the tropical salamander genera Oedipina and Nototriton, with descriptions of a new genus and three new species.'' Copeia, 2000(1), 42-70.
Originally submitted by: David B. Wake (first posted 2000-10-31)
Edited by: Arie van der Meijden and M. J. Mahoney (2009-11-04)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2009 Oedipina savagei: Savage’s Worm Salamander <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/5352> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Sep 19, 2021.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2021. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 19 Sep 2021.
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